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Feng Shui Symbol: Kui Xing Pointing the Dipper

Updated on September 4, 2017

Introduced herewith is a unique fengshui symbol to enhance academic potential and wealth. "Kui Xing pointing the Dipper" ( 魁星踢斗) was once very popular with older generations of fengshui masters.

Chinese characters Kui, having similar pronunciation but with different meaning and written differently.
Chinese characters Kui, having similar pronunciation but with different meaning and written differently. | Source

What is Kui Xing?

Kui Xing is the term for one of the 28 constellations in Chinese astrology. The 28 constellations, divided into 4 clusters, have 7 constellations in each cluster. The 4 clusters represent the Four Cardinal Directions and are associated with the Four Celestial Emblems (Turtle, Red Bird, Dragon & White Tiger). Each constellation is associated with a deity.

In the West White Tiger Cluster, Kui Xing is the first star in the constellation list and is associated with Wenchang (academic) success, as well as wealth.

(Note: The original Chinese character Kui in the name of the star was later changed to the homophonous character ‘Kui’ as the latter character has the meaning of being No. 1.)

Combination of above 3 characters formed the outline for the image of Kui Xing.
Combination of above 3 characters formed the outline for the image of Kui Xing. | Source
God of Literature Pointing the Dipper
God of Literature Pointing the Dipper | Source

Images of Kui Xing

In order to create an image for the star, the constituent radicals of the Chinese word “Kui” - gui (spirit) and dou (ladle) – were used to illustrate his form. Some Confucian virtues contained in eight characters were often used to compose his torso, together with a character of the ao (a giant turtle) at the foot.

In Taoist mythology, Kui Xing was a scholar and has literary talent. However, he failed thrice in the imperial examination because of his hunchbacked ugly look. Bitterly disappointed and angry, he kicked away the wooden book container and committed suicide by drowning.

As a Chinese mythology character, the deity is depicted as blue-faced and fierce, with right foot standing on an ao, left foot kicking backwards supporting a ladle, right hand holding a writing brush and left hand ink.

As people admired him for his literary talent, Kui Xing was worshipped as a deity overseeing academic success. Veneration of him began in the Song Dynasty and became widespread during the dynasties of Ming and Qing.

Symbolism of images

In Chinese culture, to stand alone on an ao’s head (du zhan ao tou) means No. 1 in the imperial examination.

The holding of a writing brush and ink symbolize his authority in selecting who to succeed in the examination.

The raised hand pointing to beidou qixing (Seven Stars Bucket or Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper) is a symbol for leading the right path towards success and avoidance of misfortunes.

6 versions of Kui Xing’s paintings

Kui Xing is also known by the name of God of Literature, Great Master Kui, and Great Kui, the Star Prince. The literal translation of Kui Xing is “Chief Star”.

Auspicious paintings of him can be found in the following versions:-

Wen Kui Xing (also called Kui Xing pointing the Dipper or Kui Xing kicks bucket)

Wu Kui Xing (Warrior Kui Xing)

Zhuang Yuan Kui Xing (Kui Xing, the No. 1 Imperial Scholar)

Wealth-attracting Kui Xing

Enlightened Kui Xing

Kui Xing’s transformation into deity

Different versions are meant to cater for people in various kinds of professions.

Usage in fengshui

Wen Kui Xing & Zhuang Yuan Kui Xing Paintings

For enhancement of academic success, these paintings can be placed or hung anywhere (eg the study desk). However, the best place would be the Wenchang spot which varies year to year.

The Wenchang star will be in South-west and East for 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Wu Kui Xing Painting

In ancient days, there are two types of imperial officials – Wen (literary) and Wu (warrior). So Wu Kui Xing painting is suitable for those who are engaged in professions in the military, navy, etc.

Wealth-attracting Kui Xing Painting

Instead of standing alone on the ao turtle head, Kui Xing is depicted as standing on a dragon boat. This symbolizes a big ship entering the port, bringing abundance of wealth.

Please note if religious rituals have been performed for this painting, it cannot be placed in bedrooms. The painting can only be hung in the main hall with the dragon head facing inwards. Strictly no worshipping with joss-sticks or burning of incense is allowed.

The hanging of this painting symbolizes the incoming of wealth into the home.

Veneration of God of Literature

In ancient China, there were temples in almost every town and city dedicated to this deity. Today, some of such temples still exist.

In Taiwan’s Tainan city, veneration of this god is still popular. Wenchang Pavilion, situated in Chi Qian Lou, is in commemoration of him. Prior to school examinations, people will flock there to worship and to be blessed by the God of Literature.

Having dreamt of this deity is interpreted as "success in the examination hall".

Another interpretation of Kui Xing

According to the Chun Qiu Yun Dou Shu, “kui” actually refers to the first 4 stars of beidou qixing. These 4 stars are collectively the “kui” and the way they are positioned looks like a "dou" (bucket) shape. Hence, it resulted in the name Dou Kui or Kui Xing.

© 2011 pinkytoky


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    • pinkytoky profile image

      pinkytoky 6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Matthew.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very useful and interesting! Great job, nice research and art!


    • pinkytoky profile image

      pinkytoky 6 years ago from Singapore

      roc6 Thanks for commenting.

    • roc6 profile image

      roc6 6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thanks, lots of info, great hub.